How I got here and how you can get here too.

joelburkartjoelburkart Registered User
edited October 2004 in HES Automated Lighting
I started my lighting design career unknowingly several years ago in a Bourbon St. nightclub. I found that I had a knack for mixing color and patterns that made people take notice. I was just a DJ back then and never felt that the lighting business was somewhere I was going to go. A year or two later the chance to design a casino showroom was given to me based on the work the casino showroom director had seen in the nightclub a few nights before. I took a huge cut in pay and left the nightclub for the casino world. My knack for innovation and love for the craft only grew as my designs took form and again, people took a great deal of notice of what the lights in the room were doing. So much so, that many bands asked me to tone down the design as they felt that it was taking attention away from their performance. Making an increadibly longer story very short, from there I've done Rock bands, Oldies acts, Thatrical productions, Comedy shows, you name it. The designer and programmer that designed the room I am in now were a phenomenol team, and now, even with all of their talent, I am being told that the designs and concepts I come up with are breathtaking. So much so that I am being told to replace the original lighting with my own style. All of this from a guy who just wanted to make his Dj show look good for a couple of Bourbon St. drunks.

If you want my opinion on how you go about getting into this business, do what I didn't do, go to school and get your Lighting Design degree. Get involved with your local performing arts theatre. Learn and master your craft to the best of your ability. When the time comes for you to make waves in this world,'ll be ready for whatever hurdles you have to jump through to make it happen. Don't be afraid of using your C-wrench, if you don't know how to focus, how can you direct others to do it for you. I read somewhere earlier about a guy who just wants to break into the business. Go out and volunteer some time at your local performing arts center and ask to learn the technical side of theatrical lighting. Why do they put that weird colored plastic in front of those lights, why does the gel look deep purple and the actual light color look more violet? What is color correction? Why are things in lighting rated in degrees Kelvin? These are things I had to learn the hard way. Give yourself a break and learn from someone who is willing to mold you into the next shining star in this industry.


  • litesaucelitesauce Registered User
    edited October 2004
    and always remember 2 things.......

    1. There is always someone better than you

    2. You never know everything

    if you remember those 2 points and treat people with respect you will go anywhere you want to.
  • joelburkartjoelburkart Registered User
    edited October 2004
    So true, Thank you for that addendum.
Sign In or Register to comment.